March 4th, 2007

Pensive Kevin

Trouble In Oregon

I got to Mehama without incident yesterday afternoon. However, I should have gotten going much faster, as Lisa wanted to go to Eugene to an RV parts salvage yard there to find a part for her trailer. I didn't know this yesterday morning. I could have been on the road as early as maybe 7 AM. As it was, I got to Mehama about 3 PM, moved the stuff in the front seat to the back, Lisa got in, and we headed straight to Eugene. Unfortunately, the RV parts place closes at 4 PM on Saturday, and we got there at 4:30, so it was a wasted trip.

This morning was supposed to be a work day for me. I went over to my father-in-law's house and started up my computer. Blue Screen of Death. Oh, no. I tried again. Same result. I ran diagnostics: 0F00:0244 Uncorrectable data error. That's the sign of a dying hard drive. Oh, no again.

I brought both laptops with me. I could use the spare. I'm using it right now to read e-mail and LJ. But I forgot to install VPN on the spare machine, and that's what I need to access my company's network and get at my modeling computer back in San Mateo.

The diagnostics on the hard drive found only one bad sector. I'm running CHKDSK /r on that drive right now in the hope that it might possibly be able to patch around it and at least get it to boot up for a while. (That would at least get me a chance to pull off things since the last full backup. And why didn't I do a full backup before taking this trip? Arrgh.) But if I can't get at VPN, I'm totally screwed and will have to turn around and head back to California today and possibly drive all night and work all day tomorrow. Double Arrgh!

Lisa did have an idea, however, and if other paths fail I will try it. The company's VPN software is up at the Portland office. There's a chance I could just drive up there tomorrow morning and get a copy of it from someone there. That would still put me behind, but not nearly so badly behind as having to return to California today.
  • Current Mood
    stressed stressed
Conrunner Kevin

Slightly Less Panicky

I've been able to download and install the VPN software from my company's "employee portal." I got my e-mail running again on the backup computer. I got the proxy settings for using my web browser while in VPN.

And in the meantime, my main computer booted. Maybe the chkdsk /r repair actually worked? But first things first: While the machine is actually up and running, move every document off of it and on to the backup machine.

Does stress pump up your blood sugar? Mine shot up to 220, and I'm about to go take a long walk -- at least the weather is nice -- while the computers move 9 GB of documents over the USB link cable I'm glad I remembered to take with me.
  • Current Mood
    stressed stressed
Kevin Talking

Offerings to Murphy

Even with the fairly fast USB-to-USB connection, it took a long time to transfer my files from the main to the backup computer. But it did work. I do have my e-mail and remote connections in place. I can get my work machines in San Mateo. I should still be able to get work done from up here.

Having copied the files across, I contemplated whether I should turn off the suspect computer. In the end, I figured I might as well do so. I can't leave it turned on forever, and as far as I can tell, I've pulled most of the stuff off of it that would cause me pain if I lost it. So with trepidation and the knowledge that it might be the last time that particular hard drive ever works, I shut it down.

In retrospect, it's sure a good thing that I'd planned today as a work day; otherwise, the first I would have realized there was trouble was tomorrow morning, and as we have numerous things scheduled then, I would have been in big trouble. Not that I enjoyed spending the last nine or so hours rebuilding my work environment, but it's easier to do so when you don't have your managers leaning on you for results immediately.

Now Lisa and I are going grocery shopping and I'm going to try not to think about computers until tomorrow morning.
  • Current Mood
    relieved relieved